BMW’s most popular M Performance SUV is getting a facelift and it’s almost here. The current BMW X5 M50i is on its last days, as it will soon be replaced by the refreshed BMW X5 M60i, following the X5’s LCI (Life Cycle Impulse—facelift in BMW-speak). When it arrives, it will bring some new style, an entirely new engine, and a few interior tweaks as well. These new spy photos show off a few of the changes you can expect. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

The BMW X5 M60i in these photos is seen at the Nürburgring, wearing what looks to be Tanzanite Blue Metallic, one of the most common M Performance colors. While the front end looks similar to the current pre-LCI car, there are some changes. For instance, the headlights are new, with a sleeker design, similar to the BMW 4 Series. The front air intakes are also a bit different then before, with a larger central intake in the bumper. However, the large kidney grilles are still the same.

You can’t really see the taillights through the test mule’s camouflage in these photos but you can expect mostly unchanged rear lamps but they might be darker. The exhausts are different out back, though, with a rectangular overall exhaust pipe on either side of the rear bumper. However, they now each seem as if they’re split in two a bit, giving a pseudo quad exhaust look.

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There aren’t any photos of the interior in this gallery, however, you can expect the same interior changes that the X7 LCI saw. That means BMW iDrive 8, for better or worse, the new curved screen with BMW’s digital gauges, and a toggle switch gear selector that replaces the old lever. It’s also because of iDrive 8 that the X5 will ditch physical climate controls, something many fans will be bummed about.

Under the hood, the BMW X5 M60i gets a new engine, hence the name change. Instead of the old N63 engine, the M60i uses BMW’s new S68 engine, which is another 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 but one developed by BMW M. That’s right, the X5 M60i—which isn’t’ a true M car—is getting a genuine M Division engine, just like the new BMW 760i. It makes 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque in the X7 M60i, so expect similar figures here. And when it does debut, it will immediately be one of BMW’s best looking cars and one of its best overall.

[Source: Motor1] [Photos by]